BHUBANESWAR: Legislators of different political parties in Odisha seem to have gone with the party line in the Presidential election, the results of which was declared today.
Out of the 147 MLAs in the Odisha assembly, 146 had voted in the Presidential poll except Subal Sahu of Congress. Sahu could not cast his vote because of illness. Besides, Independent Rajya Sabha MP supported by the BJD AV Swami had also voted in the assembly here.
Sources maintained that votes of 127 MLAs has gone in favour of the President elect Ramnath Kovind, who was the NDA candidate while 17 MLAs voted in favour of UPA presidential candidate Meira Kumar. Votes of two MLAs has reportedly been cancelled.
Though there seems to have been no cross voting, two votes which should have gone to Kovind has been rejected. However, it is not yet clear whether the rejected votes were from the political parties or independents.
Kovind should have got 129 votes from Odisha MLAs.
While the strength of BJD is 117 in the assembly, the BJP has ten legislators. BJD also had the support of two independents, Satyabadi MLA Umakant Samantray and Champua MLA Sanatan Mahakud. Mahakud was the last MLA to cast his vote.
Meanwhile, leader of the opposition in the assembly Narasingh Mishra said that those who were expecting division in the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) in the presidential election most have disappointed.
Mishra said all the Congress legislators have voted in favour of Meira Kumar, the united opposition candidate. Besides, CPM MLA Laxman Munda and Georege Tirkey of Samata Kranti Dal also voted in favour of the united opposition candidate, he said.
Stating that the BJD seems to cracking and there was differences of opinion in the party over supported extended to the NDA which had fielded a RSS cadre whom no secular for can support. He said in the coming days if the chief minister does not take a clear stand on BJP as demanded by some BJD MPs, the differences in the party will grow and those who believe in secularism will quit.